Agriculture. It's All We've Ever Done:
Serving Canadian Agriculture Since 1959.
From one product at one rate in 1959 to a wide range of customized financial and business solutions to meet the needs of our 100,000 customers - this is the Farm Credit Canada journey.
For over a half century, we’ve listened to our customers and constantly adapted our products and services to fit agriculture's emerging needs. Together, FCC and the agricultural community have faced dramatic transformations in production, technology and markets. However, one thing remains unchanged - our unwavering commitment to customers and our 100 per cent focus on agriculture.
Here are some highlights of the changing face of FCC from 1959 to today:
1927 - The Canadian Farm Loan Board (CFLB) was established to provide long-term mortgage credit to farmers.
1942 - The Veteran's Land Administration Act (VLA) was introduced to assist Second World War veterans enter farming, providing the most important source of farm credit at the time.
1959 - The Farm Credit Act (FCA) was introduced and established FCC as a Crown corporation, with a statutory interest rate of five per cent and capital of $8 million.
"From the point of view of the long-term welfare of agriculture, I believe this is one of the most important Bills which has been considered by the Canadian Parliament. The importance of credit used by farmers as a supplement to their own capital has increased almost continuously during the last 50 years." (D. S. Harkness, Minister of Agriculture, on the passing of the FCA.)
1959 - 1962 - Under the leadership of its first Chairman, Brigadier T.J. Rutherford (1959-1962), the Corporation's reputation for customer service and agricultural expertise began. Staff received intensive training courses in farm management, pre-loan counselling and high-risk loan supervision in order to improve advisory services to borrowers. Farmers received advice regarding equipment and livestock purchases, and farm planning and operations.
"The lending policy and income approach to value are not rule books but guides intended to assist you in the making of your decisions. They can only round out; they can never replace - the common sense experience and good judgment of the trained Farm Appraiser or Farm Credit Advisor." (Brigadier TJ Rutherford)
1963 - George Owen (1963-1974) was appointed Chairman and continues Rutherford's work to position FCC as the instrument to ensure agricultural success in Canada. FCC's first bilingual Chairman, Mr. Owen served during a period of important changes for FCC, including the first amendments to the FCA. He also initiated the idea of Appeal Boards in 1965 to allow farmers a second hearing on rejected loan applications.
1965 - As farming expanded, FCC began to lend to a broader range of primary producers including those with off-farm employment or with secondary enterprises on their farms.
1968 - A key amendment to the Act introduces a market rate formula to enable the Corporation to cover the cost of its borrowing. Until that time, the statutory interest rate of five per cent as set out in the Act was in effect.
1970 - The '70s began with declining land prices and net farm incomes and higher interest rates. To support farmers through this period, FCC requested more amendments to the FCA. Loan limits and capital were increased and the minimum age requirement of 21 years for applicants was dropped.
1976 - FCC's new chairman, Dr. Baldur Kristjanson (1975-77) created the Beginning Farmer Loan Program, aimed at helping borrowers under the age of 35 to phase into farming.
1977 - Under the leadership of Dr. Rolland Poirier (1977-1981), who assumed the role of Chairman in December 1977, further amendments were made to increase loan limits and streamline administration operations to provide greater flexibility to borrowers. In 1978, for the first time since its inception in 1959, FCC realized a surplus on its operations.
1979 - As FCC celebrated its 20th year of operations, net farm incomes were increasing and the demand for financing growing. The amount of outstanding long-term credit increased eight-fold between 1962 and 1979, making it evident that farmers required increased access to financing capital to help the agricultural industry grow. Short and interim term credit also increased significantly. In 1979, the Corporation's average loan size was $110,298, compared to $7,500 in 1959.
1982 - The '80s presented many challenges to farmers as particular commodities were hit by drought and volatile export markets. Chairman Eiliv Anderson (1982-1987) introduced new legislation to allow FCC to borrow funds on the financial markets. This provided FCC with a broader capital base to help finance Canadian farmers.
1985 - Federal and provincial governments introduced a national farm strategy to help agricultural enterprises deal with commodity price downturns. FCC played a key role in providing fixed-rate financing to Canadian farmers. Emphasis was placed on the development of lending programs that would reduce farmers' vulnerability to fluctuations in interest rates and changing economic conditions.
1987 - By the end of the decade, the agricultural industry was climbing out of the downturn and was back on the road to financial recovery. Under the leadership of Chairman Jim Hewitt (1987-1992), FCC strengthened its financial viability to be able to serve agriculture's financing needs. FCC was in a position to increase the range of financing solutions offered to Canadian farmers to help them take advantage of growing market opportunities.
1992 - FCC relocated its head office from Ottawa to Regina, reinforcing the federal government's commitment to bring federal institutions and agencies closer to the people they serve.
1993 - To meet the emerging agricultural financing needs of the '90s, FCC sought amendments to the Farm Credit Act. The new Farm Credit Corporation Act (FCCA) was passed in 1993, providing FCC increased flexibility to finance diversification, farmer-owned farm-related enterprises and larger-scale farms. The new Act enabled FCC to partner with other financial and agricultural institutions to better serve customers and finance a wider range of farm-related projects to help strengthen rural Canada./span>
1994 - C. Gerald Penney (1994-1996) took over as President and CEO and records were set throughout the Corporation as staff and management worked diligently to keep pace with a vibrant agricultural industry. In the mid-1990s, alliances and partnerships with other government agencies, financial institutions and farm-related organizations offered FCC new opportunities to enhance its product line and services to provide the best possible value to customers.
1997 - A new President and CEO, John J. Ryan, was appointed in 1997. Under his leadership, FCC has seen a steady increase in the demand for its services by Canadian farmers and agribusinesses. Consumer trends, increased competition and technology have drastically changed the agricultural industry and Canadian farmers have virtually redefined the industry in seeking out new products and markets. Mr. Ryan's vision for FCC, to be the leader in agricultural financing, has led to customized solutions and the launch of many new and innovative solutions to meet the unique needs of Canadian farmers.
1998 - FCC becomes a member of the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy's Imagine program - donating more than one per cent of profits to charitable and not-for-profit organizations through the donation of financial resources, services and gifts-in-kind. Community investment is reaffirmed as the way FCC does business.
2001- FCC's mandate is expanded to help address the changing and complex nature of customers' business needs. The new Farm Credit Canada Act, enacted by Parliament in June 2001 articulates FCC's continued commitment to primary producers. It also allows FCC to:
- Offer a broader range of financial and business management services, such as business planning, succession planning and risk management.
- Finance more farm-related businesses that benefit agriculture, including those that are not farmer-owned.
- Offer venture capital financing.
- Offer lease financing either directly or through partnerships.
2001 - As a result of its new legislation, FCC's name is changed to Farm Credit Canada, or Financement agricole Canada in french.
2002 - FCC acquires Settler Computer Technologies Inc., the producer of AgExpert, Canada's leading agricultural management software. This provides another tool for FCC to help producers succeed through sophisticated management skills.
2004 - FCC launches CanadianFarmersMarket.com. The site is a free and exclusive opportunity for FCC customers to help them promote their products and services.
2004 - FCC creates cultural practices to help employees hold each other and themselves accountable for business results and impact on others. These practices supplement FCC's corporate values by outlining the behaviour expected of FCC employees.
2004 - FCC creates Communities of Practice (COPs) for each of the 11 sectors FCC lends to.
2005 - Online services are enhanced to make it easier for customers to do business with us at their convenience 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
2005 - FCC launches the AgriSpirit Fund to enhance rural communities. The fund supports local capital projects.
2005 - FCC offers seven lines of business, AgProduction, AgValue, AgExpert, Alliances, Agri-Success, Agri-Assurances, FCC Ventures.
2006 - FCC creates a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework.
2006 - FCC introduces the Accelerator Loan, a $50 million commitment in new lending to young farmers. The loan was created to enable buyers and sellers to transfer farms and farm assets from one generation to the next.
2006 - FCC hosts the largest AgriSuccess and customer events ever hosted by FCC. Winning in Agriculture was held in six cities across Canada with over 500 attendees in each location.
2006 - FCC commits $50 million to create Canada's first Industrial Life Sciences fund, Avrio Ventures Limited Partnership. Avrio Ventures is established to capitalize on the convergence of Agricultural Science and Industrial technology occurring in Industrial Bio-Products, Food Technology and Nutraceutical Ingredients.
2007 - FCC opens a second Customer Service Centre in Moncton.
2007 - FCC employee Greg Stewart is appointed President and CEO. A professional agrologist who holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Manitoba., Greg joined FCC in 1987 and worked in a number of progressively responsible positions, gaining extensive experience in operations and risk management. In 2005, Greg was appointed Executive Vice-President and in 2006, he was named Chief Operating Officer.
2007 - For the fifth consecutive year FCC is named on the Globe and Mail's Report on Business annual list of 50 Best Employers in Canada. In 2007, FCC is seventh, the highest achieved placing and up from number 8 in 2006 and number 12 in 2005.
2008 - The FCC Drive Away Hunger program doubles its national goal, raising over one million pounds of food for food banks across Canada.
2008 - FCC launches FCC Leasing to provide customers with a leasing option that provides them with lower up-front costs and increased flexibility when financing equipment.
2008 - FCC develops the FCC Expression Fund to support the use of Canada's official languages in Canadian minority communities.
2009 – FCC marks 50 years of serving Canadian agriculture and continues to be one of the Top 50 best employers in Canada.
2010 – FCC introduces the Energy Loan to assist producer who want to save money and become more self-sufficient by moving towards producing their own renewable energy.
FCC's focus is the same today as it was since 1959 - we are 100 per cent committed to agriculture and to leading the way in building a strong agricultural industry. We're proud of our accomplishments but there is no standing still. We must build on our success and keep moving forward - to continue to provide the financial and business solutions our customers need. Ultimately, the success of FCC is determined by the success of our customers: Canadian farmers and agribusiness and agri-food operators.